Scaling disruptive technologies to achieve energy transition

Discussion Paper

Climate & Energy

Achieving Paris Agreement targets requires a monumental global transformation of the energy system

Antonella Battaglini, CEO of the Renewables Grid Initiative and one of the publication’s contributors

Disruptive technologies transform processes at local, regional or global level. They increase efficiency, while improving life on Earth and empowering citizens. Developing and scaling them is often associated with taking risks and means drastically rethinking the way we decarbonise, decentralise and digitalise our entire energy system.

Friends of Europe publication acknowledges the fundamental role disruptive technologies can play in accelerating and achieving the energy transition. It is released at some critical time as official representatives are meeting in Bangkok to work on the implementation guidelines of the Paris rulebook in view of COP24 in Katowice; climate leaders and people are gathering in San Francisco “to take ambition to the next level” at the first Global Climate Action Summit; and the future of Europe’s digital innovation is to be discussed at the EIT Digital Conference.

To achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the energy sector, technological breakthroughs are an imperative. This discussion paper shares an array of technological solutions and initiatives that are either under development or currently on the market – and are proven to be successful. By representing disruptive technologies from across a range of sectors, we are able to highlight real solutions, which if replicated and scaled up, could accelerate the energy transition in compliance with the Paris Agreement.

This publication is divided into four parts demonstrating how technologies have become strategic in achieving sustainability objectives and driving societal change – as well as the path of transformation taking place to address climate change and develop a low-carbon economy. Finally, the discussion paper demonstrates how risk-taking and investments in research and development for innovations should be the guiding principles to move towards a more decarbonised world.

Structure of the publication:

Part 1: Nature-based solutions
Part 2: Energy distribution and transmission technologies
Part 3: Disruptive leadership
Part 4: Digitalisation as an accelerator

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